Psunami, originally designed by Brian Maffitt, was acquired by Digital Anarchy and then by Red Giant Software. A recent project required the Psunami look, and I have been thoroughly impressed with this plug-in, both in its ease of use, potential for creative extension and use in non intended ways.
Psunami is an excellent plug-in that I believe is well worth the money
Psunami, has been named accordingly as it is a physics-based wave generator. Whilst this sounds pretty cool, it also has a lot of clever integration of potential variables to make life and compositing much easier. Apparently it has been used in many feature films – Titanic, Cast Away and Pearl Harbor to name a few, which should act as a testament to it’s level of realism.
A lot of scope exists for creative minds within the ocean environment, from placid lakes to monster tsunami’s. The physics within the plug-in create rugged contours which when animated replicate waves, however the plug-in could also be used to create mountains, plains, deserts or an ocean floor, by simply setting up the project with non rolling wave forms. It also allows for the user to render out an animation as a 3D Grid, which could yield some interesting results.
Overview of the Features
- Swell Control.
- Air and light optics.
- Displacement Mapping (allowing for the creation of whirlpools).
- 3D Camera Control.
- Depth of Field Control.
- Reflection Mapping.
- Position the Camera above or below the surface.
- Potential to sit the camera on a floating buoy/vessel (this is quite nauseating).
- Easy integration of floating objects.
- Water loops.
- Grey scale mode, for speedy previews.
- Atmospheric Effects – Rainbows, Fog, Sun, Sunsets and Haze.
Looking over the features list you can see a lot of value there, as the atmospheric effects may be used independently of the wave generating effects and vice versa. For my project I needed an underwater camera, to be integrated with underwater footage, with the help of some other plug-ins namely; CC Toner, Foam, Levels, Curves, and Trapcode Shine I was able to create a scene that in the end was quite impressive and an easy substitution for real underwater footage. Shine allowed for volumetric lighting under the water (from the out-of-water sun, nestled within Psunami). Foam allowed me to integrate both the sort of flaky particles and occasional bubbles that one might find under the water.
The render mode “Too Realistic” was used in this composition, it is the slowest Render Mode available and is recommended as the setting to use for underwater scenes, apparently adding to their realism. The addition of these render modes allows speedy use of the plug-in, facilitating switching between quick previews and final output.
Psunami is an excellent plug-in, that I believe is well worth the money, in it’s assigned functions it performs excellently and it offers a degree of adaptability. It was easy to use, and just as easy to setup. It renders quite quickly, especially for something with such a high level of detail. In fact I’m eagerly looking forward bringing in some displacement maps, and engineering a mighty whirlpool, and incorporating an array of atmospherics – rain, fog, wind and swells. There is a lot of value within this package – it is worth buying, or if not at least trialling sometime, so that you too can feel the power of Psunami.
- Easy integration with other plug-ins.
- Highly realistic output.
- Fast render times.
- Ability to tweak, save and use custom presets.
- Highly customisable.
- Ability to insert objects is very useful / time saving.
- Excellent camera control.
- Easy to use interface.
- Wont work with Vista 64 or XP 64.
- No changes since Digital Anarchy acquisition.
- Lack of realism moving from above to below the surface and vice versa.
- Lack of realism in display when then camera is too close to the ocean surface.